Last week I had the privilege of attending the annual awards ceremony of the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) in London. The AIB is a non-profit organization that supports the global media industry, with a yearly competition that rewards excellence in content creation. There are about 20 categories, with a strong focus on journalism and current affairs.
The well-produced evening was spent watching and listening to stories from all around the world, and it proved to be very inspiring and thought provoking. We all know the media industry is a huge economic engine, and it’s really interesting to work on the technical side of the business – but lots of modern media content doesn’t exactly make us feel like we’re helping make the world a better place.
The AIB submissions provided a strong counterpoint. An extraordinarily wide range of topics were covered, all serving to remind us that television and radio – in the hands of the right talent – have an incredible ability to tell stories, get the audience involved, and humanize a wide range of global issues. As journalists and producers accepted their awards, it was wonderful to see how passionately the people in front of the camera and behind the scenes felt about telling their stories.
What a nice interlude during an American election in which “the media” is reviled and there’s a lot of unpleasantness on TV! There was a serious and reflective undercurrent running through the conversation with my industry colleagues during the AIB evening. We were happy to be reminded that media can do much more than entertain – and proud to be part of the industry. Many thanks to the AIB and the talented entrants for reminding us that media has the power to inform, expose, and even drive social change.